Is your charity or non-profit organization short on funds for marketing? Would you like to expand your online reach to potential donors, clients and volunteers? Does the idea of a $10,000 month budget for online marketing appeal to you? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, Google Grants has the answer for your organization.
For those who are unfamiliar with Google Grants, this program was set up by Google to provide up to $10,000 per month of in kind advertising to select charities and non-profits through Google AdWords. Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to:
- Arts organizations
- Global and public health organizations
- Youth advocacy organizations
- Science and technology organizations
- Education organizations
Your organization must also have charitable status in order to qualify for Google Grants. US Organizations must have current 501(c)(3) status, as assigned by the Internal Revenue Service, to be considered for a Google Grant. Canadian Organizations must be registered under the Canada Income Tax Act, able to issue charitable receipts to donors, and are exempt from income tax in order to be considered for this program.
Once your organization has been approved for Google Grants, the program is ongoing. As long as you keep the account active and continue to follow their guidelines, you will have up to $10,000 per month to use towards general outreach, fundraising, recruitment of staff and volunteers, and events promotion.
Intro to AdWords
In short, AdWords are the paid advertising that appears next to search results on the Google search engine. When a user searches a keyword related to your organization, your ad will appear next to relevant Google search results under the Sponsored Link sections. The main benefit of this is that you will only reach people who are interested in your organization’s information or services, and by clicking on your ad, the user will be taken directly to the most relevant landing page on your website.
Keep Focused For Success
The key to a successful campaign with your Google Grant will be keeping focused. There will be a temptation to cut corners and write general ads using loose search terms that take users to your website home page, avoid this. By determining which goals you are trying to achieve, and by writing relevant ads for people searching terms related to those ads, you can bring users to proper landing pages on your website where they will have a place to take action. That action can be anything from downloading a report, filling out a volunteer application, or signing up for the monthly newsletter. The important thing is to keep a strong connection between their search, the ad text, and the landing page you take them to on your website.
Google Grants Limitations
While this program is very generous and can be helpful for most organizations, there are a few limiting factors in comparison to regular AdWords customers that are required to pay full price each time their ads are clicked by a user.
The main challenge that you will encounter is that your account is limited to a maximum bid of $1 per click which can make it difficult to get your ad listed in the top few positions. You will also be limited to writing text ads that appear on Google search results, and not have access to YouTube or the Google Display Network.
These limitations are something to keep in mind, but in no way are they a reason to prevent you from applying for a Google Grant.
Google Grants Life Cycle
As explained by Google, here are the steps that are taken while processing your application:
- Non-profit organization applies to Google Grants via online application
- Google volunteer team screens non-profit for program eligibility
- Non-profit is notified via email for their acceptance and is asked to build an account and submit for review
- oogle volunteer team reviews submitted AdWords account
- Grants team activates the account and notifies the non-profit
- The non-profit is able to raise awareness of their organization and build support through their Google Grant
Google Grants can be a very positive experience and a great tool for your organization, and because of this I recommend that you start your application as soon as possible. The benefit of being able to reach potential clients, supporters, and donors in a timely manner, while they are actively searching for your services, is a great opportunity that should not be passed up.
Google Grants application:
Canadian Applicants: http://www.google.ca/intl/en/grants/
US Applicants: https://google-for-nonprofits.appspot.com/applicationContact Us!